Komagata Maru monument pisser won’t face charges
The Vancouver Police Department says it has investigated an incident that saw a man urinate on the Komagata Maru monument, and decided not to recommend any charges.
Sgt. Randy Fincham, spokesperson for the VPD, told media outlets this week that police have talked to the man photographed peeing on the monument in December.
“In laying a charge, investigators would need to establish that a criminal offence took place, that laying a charge was in the public interest and that there was a substantial likelihood of a conviction. In this case, it was determined that all three criteria had not been established,” Fincham said, according to the Province.
In December, park board chair Sarah Blyth called the incident a "disgraceful act".
The monument was installed in 2012 to commemorate the Komagata Maru incident. In the 1914 incident, 300 passengers of South Asian descent were denied entry to Canada due to a racist federal law.
Update (3:41 p.m.): Vancouver police have issued the following statement:
The facts involved in an incident where a man allegedly urinated on the Komagata Maru Memorial in Downtown Vancouver do not constitute a criminal offence.
The Vancouver Police shared details recently about the incident, but are providing clarification following some inaccurate media reports.
After being informed of the incident that occurred on December 3rd, an investigator from the VPD Hate Crime Unit was assigned. Police identified, located and interviewed the suspect and an extensive investigation into the incident was completed.
While the actions of an individual may be offensive and disrespectful, it does not make those actions criminal. In this case, investigators determined that the actions were not criminal and confirmed this assessment with Crown Counsel. Simply stated, urinating in a public place is not a criminal offence in Canada, regardless of the context, unless the elements of an offence are present as set out the Criminal Code. Those elements were not present in this case.
It has been suggested that police could have issued the man a by-law ticket for the incident. This was, in fact, one of the options that was contemplated, but certain underlying facts and circumstances led to the conclusion that a by-law ticket would not be appropriate.